How To Tell If A Caliper Is The Culprit Of A Faulty Brake System

The brake system is made up of various parts including the brake caliper. Calipers are devices that push the brake pads against the rotor so that the wheels can slow down. You can easily spot the caliper housing around the wheel section because it appears like a disc attached to the rotor (the round metal that rotates to turn the wheel). When the calipers malfunction, they can bring the whole brake system down. So how can you tell that the calipers are the culprits of a faulty brake system?

Signs Of A Faulty Caliper

One sign that the calipers are the reason behind your poor braking system is the production of abnormal sounds around the wheels when you are pressing the brake pedal. Calipers tend to generate thud sounds and high-pitched noises when they stick or loosen. If the calipers stick to the brake pads, you may also be able to observe premature wear on the brake pads. Another sign that the calipers are faulty is manifested by the tendency of the vehicle to pull to the right or left. When you press the brake pedal, heat is generated by friction mechanism and this heat may cause the caliper piston to seize. The effects of a piston seize is a drag on the wheels, which will begin to pull to the side

The manner in which you step on the brake pedal may also hint about a defective brake caliper. If the braking feels spongy or soft, or if the pedal goes all the way to the floor easily when you step on it, it could be an indication of a faulty brake caliper.

Checking the caliper itself is also a way of telling if the caliper is defective. As you are applying the brakes, have someone else observe the motion of the caliper. If the caliper isn't moving when you are applying the brakes, look at the brake pads. If the pads are moving, it means that the caliper is not floating properly.

What You Can Do About The Defective Caliper

If the calipers are completely damaged or worn out, the best option is to have a car mechanic replace them. A mechanic can either lubricate the caliper sliding pins if sticking is the problem or the mechanic can replace the caliper if it is broken or heavily damaged.  Do not ignore the signs of a faulty caliper as the brake system is one part of a car that can be life threatening if it is not attended to.